Arusha si Kenya! 6 Things From My Spontaneous Trip to Arusha

Written by Faith Oneya

When one of my most random, quirky and relentlessly spontaneous friends calls me about a ‘cheap’ deal to fly to Arusha, my spontaneity antennae kicked into full gear and I find myself hurriedly packing for my one day trip last Saturday to Arusha.

KQ was offering a ‘super’ deal of KES.5000/= for a return ticket to Kilimanjaro International Airport and Arusha seems like a better option to visit than Moshi. (As advised by a Kenyan who called Moshi ‘ushago’)

The reason the flight cost us KES.5000/= starts becoming clearer as we boards the plane. The passengers over 5 feet 2 inches tall cannot board this plane- There is no leg room! A fellow passenger comments on this and laughingly suggests that this may have to be a ‘standing flight’. Thankfully we arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport hardly 35 minutes later.

Kilimanjaro International Airport

The following are the eight random things that I found interesting!

  • Taxi drivers will insist on charging you in US. Dollars and will shove a laminated business card into your face after a 5 minute lecture on the ‘danger’ of using public transport. Yes, the business cards are laminated!
A Laminated Business Card!
  • If you are a woman and you spot dreadlocks, every idle man in the market will stop you, hold out a fist to you , lock eyes with you and force you to chant ‘Jah,Rasta Farah’.
  • The people of Arusha have no idea what a Museum is. Confused stares will follow such an inquiry and a firm ‘Sifahamu hiyo’ will quickly follow.
At the Museum of Natural History!
  • A Hawker selling Mshikaki will help you taste the meat you have purchased to reassure you that it is not game meat! (That is, if you ask this).
  • A Swedish guy called Dick at the Museum of Natural History will be standing at the door when you enter the big photography hall. He will ask you where you are from and when you say “Kenya”, he will proceed to say “We funded you.” And you will ask “What? Who is we?” and he will say: “We the European Union have funded your National Museum. “He will then tell you that he has been a photographer for over 17 years and proceed to order you to write in the visitor’s book. “Tell them how nice the photographs are, how informative…it is the only way that this museum can keep being funded”. With the few remarks, you will proceed to do your share in ‘building the nation’ by signing in the guestbook.
Dick, the friendly photographer…who uses an analog camera to capture images of nature. He also says he has ‘the biggest and most expensive lens in Africa’.
  • The airport security personnel will frisk you ‘orally’, asking.”Je una chombo sharp kwenye begi ama liquid iliyozidi 100ml?” and after you shake your head they will wish you a nice flight back home.

Author: Faith Oneya

Lover of the written and spoken word.

10 thoughts on “Arusha si Kenya! 6 Things From My Spontaneous Trip to Arusha”

  1. A detail-oriented colleague has just pointed out that I have listed 6 things as opposed to 8 things. I have since corrected the title.I must update to MsWord 2010!

    1. You are welcome.I found some things utterly ridiculous (because of my limited Kenyan perspective no doubt) but experiencing a new culture is always delightful!

  2. Funny they did not ask you to show your Yellow Fever certificate and then proceed to order you to take their Dollar-ful one if you didn’t. I too realized that Swahili is in fact not Seahili in Tanzania. I was offered a phone ‘yenye garantii’ and my t-shirt ‘ni la redi’! You still talk of eight things in the post sweets! By the way, is it possible you have not mentioned the food because you ordered and it never came coz they were preparing it forever? Lol! Nyce about the museum and that lost Swede. How did you ‘stand’ with your 5’9 frame kwa hiyo ndege? I luv the piece and your adventurous spirit. :-))

  3. I have not checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend cfkgkedkeedc

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